With The Interview available in both theaters and through several online venues, Sony Pictures has revealed that the comedy earned over $15 million through online rentals and sales this past weekend. The comedy also earned an estimated $2.8 million since opening on Christmas Day, during its limited theatrical run in 331 theaters across the country. The film was initially slated to open in over 3,000 theaters on Christmas Day, where it was projected to earn roughly $20 million during its opening weekend, before Sony Pictures initially canceled the theatrical release nearly two weeks ago, following threats from a hacker group known as the Guardians of Peace.
The film was rented and/or downloaded more than 2 million times since first arriving on the web this past Tuesday, making it Sony's biggest online film of all time. The online sales and rental figures will likely increase even more in the coming weeks, since Apple's iTunes made the comedy available for rental and purchase yesterday, joining Google Play, YouTube Movies, Xbox Video and Sony's See the Interview Site. Netflix has also been in talks to secure the comedy, but a deal has yet to be finalized at this time.
While VOD sales/rental figures are normally kept hidden from the public, The Interview also eclipses other recent VOD hits such as Snowpiercer ($7 million in VOD sales/rentals), Bachelorette ($8.2 million) and Arbitrage ($14 million). The Interview reportedly cost $45 million to produce, with an extra $30 million spent on marketing the film. It seems to be just a matter of time before The Interview recoups its expenses through the limited theatrical and VOD/online release. We'll keep you posted if Sony Pictures adds even more theaters and VOD outlets to expand the release of The Interview further.